A 40 cm ion thruster is being developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center to obtain input power and propellant throughput capabilities of 10 kW and 550 kg. respectively. The technical approach here is a continuation of the "derating" technique used for the NSTAR ion thruster. The 40 cm ion thruster presently utilizes the NSTAR ion optics aperture geometry to take advantage of the large database of lifetime and performance data already available. Dome-shaped grids were chosen for the design of the 40 cm ion optics because this design is naturally suited for large-area ion optics. Ion extraction capabilities and electron backstreaming limits for the 40 cm ion optics were estimated by utilizing NSTAR 30 cm ion optics data. A preliminary service life assessment showed that the propellant throughput goal of 550 kg of xenon may be possible with molybdenum 40 cm ion optics. One 40 cm ion optics' set has been successfully fabricated to date. Additional ion optics' sets are presently being fabricated. Preliminary performance tests were conducted on a laboratory model 40 cm ion thruster.